Events in Monterey, California, in January 2023: Races, Festivals, and Other Fun Activities

The January agenda of Monterey events brims with a variety of possibilities around the bay. Explore premier festivals, wine tasting experiences, and fun activities for the entire family.

The curated list comprises stellar choices from Monterey, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Santa Cruz, Pacific Grove, and other neighboring towns around the bay.

Monterey Events In January

Rio Grill’s Resolution Run

  • Date: 1/1
  • Location: Commences at the Crossroads Shopping Mall in Carmel

For running enthusiasts, the Rio Grill’s Resolution Run is an unmissable event. As one of the inaugural Monterey events in January, it’s an excellent starting point for fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions.

This race is renowned for its stunning trail paths, roads, and waterside views. Beginning at the Rio Grill, you can opt for a 5k (3.1 miles) or 10k (6.2 miles) run, providing an opportunity to burn off holiday indulgences and kickstart your New Year’s resolutions.

Participants will receive a long-sleeved shirt, a delightful brunch courtesy of the Rio Grill, and the top three finishers from each age category will be awarded prizes. To ensure a smooth experience, plan ahead as bibs and t-shirts can only be collected at the race location the day prior or on the day of the race. Both races begin promptly at 9 am.

Monterey Swingfest

  • Dates: 1/11 – 1/16
  • Location: Monterey Hyatt Regency

The Monterey Swingfest is renowned among swing dance aficionados as one of the best festivals in the region. Whether you aim to acquire swing dance skills, witness masterful performances, or simply have an enjoyable time, this three-day event is the place to be. In 2023, proof of vaccination will be a requisite to collect your wristband at the event registration desk.

Renowned instructors will be providing lessons throughout the day. Additionally, there are complimentary beginner classes, open dance times for practice, intensive sessions, and various contests each day. Evening dance events provide an excellent opportunity to mingle, flaunt your dance skills, and have an incredible time.

For those needing to stretch their muscles, morning yoga sessions are available. Additionally, there’s an entertaining beer tasting event scheduled on Saturday. This Swingfest welcomes attendees of all ages, so feel free to invite children and others interested in swing dance.

Where to Stay in Monterey and Around the Bay Monterey: The largest assortment of hotels can be found in and around Monterey. Top-tier options include the Spindrift Inn and Portola Hotel and Spa. More budget-friendly alternatives can be found a few blocks away from the waterfront. View my top recommendations for all budgets here.

Carmel-By-The-Sea: Though smaller, this coastal town still offers a wide range of accommodations. It boasts luxurious hotels as well as charming bed and breakfasts. Here are my top suggestions for Carmel-By-The-Sea.

Pacific Grove: Located northwest of Monterey, this intimate community provides several fantastic places to stay, including a few excellent bed and breakfasts and budget-friendly choices. Discover my top 5 recommendations here.

Where to Stay in Monterey and Around the Bay

Monterey: This region boasts the widest array of hotels within its bounds and surroundings. Premium choices include the Spindrift Inn and Portola Hotel and Spa. Additionally, budget-friendly alternatives can be located a few extra blocks distant from the seafront. Discover my top recommendations for all budgets here.

Carmel-By-The-Sea: Though a more compact coastal town, it still presents an ample variety of lodgings. Here you can discover outstanding luxury hotels and numerous charming bed and breakfasts. View my top choices for Carmel-By-The-Sea here.

Pacific Grove: This petite community lies to the north west of Monterey. It provides a number of excellent accommodations, featuring a few superior bed and breakfasts and economical options. Explore my top 5 recommendations here.

Are you prepared to make a reservation? Be sure to review the splendid options below.

TripAdvisor: Assess costs, peruse recent visitor reviews, and discover a diverse array of possibilities.

VRBO: An alternative is to lease an apartment, house, or a room in Monterey through VRBO.

Santa Cruz Warriors

Here are the leading home games this month featuring the Santa Cruz Warriors. They are the minor league team for the Golden State Warriors. Click the links for ticket procurement details.

Additional Monterey Activities for January

Monterey Food Tour: Embark on a leisurely walk through the historic lanes of Monterey on this 3-hour food tour. Relish both tangy and sweet delicacies en route and gather insights about the trending food and beverage culture here. More details and tickets are available here.

Whale Watching: Venture out into the sea this January for a whale watching expedition. This period offers the prime opportunity to observe whales as they journey through the Pacific Ocean. Discover whale watching tours here.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: This must-visit spot for all Monterey travelers is the aquarium. Positioned on the northern edge of Cannery Row, this fascinating venue houses hundreds of plant and animal species native to the bay.

Performances at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz

Events at Folktale Winery

  • Dates: No events slated for this month, anticipated to recommence later in the year!
  • Location: Folktale Winery at 8940 Carmel Valley Rd, Carmel-By-The-Sea

Folktale Winery is renowned for its excellent wines, as well as for the engaging and thrilling events it hosts each month. Situated adjacent to the Carmel River, Folktale offers the ideal setting to unwind, recline, and admire the splendor of the Carmel Valley. You’re sure to relish tasting the wines and listening to splendid music, varying on the day of your Folktale visit.

Musical genres range from rock and roll, to country, rhythm and blues, and almost any other genre you can think of. The bands are as diverse as the music, with some being local talents and others touring across the USA. Many of the performances are complimentary for all attendees, while others incorporate wine tasting, scrumptious food, and VIP service at an additional cost. Ensure to verify in advance as some shows accommodate children and pets, while others do not.

For yoga enthusiasts, Sunday morning classes are available for a fee, following which a complimentary glass of Folktale Winery’s wine can be enjoyed. These 90-minute sessions take place in the Rose Vineyard adjacent to the Barrel Room. In case of inclement weather, classes are relocated indoors, guaranteeing a pleasurable experience irrespective of the weather conditions during your Folktale visit.

Cioppino & Vino Fundraiser

  • Date: January 28th
  • Venue: Moose Lodge, Del Rey Oaks

An exquisite treat for gastronomes and oenophiles alike, this event is an annual highlight of Monterey’s January calendar. Brought to you by the dedicated team of the Rotary Club of Monterey, this charity gala showcases the culinary prowess of celebrated local chef, Tom Vitale, known for his speciality in Cioppino.

Delight your palate with fresh from the farm salads, savoury garlic bread, an assortment of fine wines, the scrumptious Cioppino, and sumptuous desserts.

Once your gastronomic cravings are satisfied, don’t forget to participate in the silent and live auctions, raffles, and sway to the rhythm of live music. Engaging games promise fun for all ages and skill levels, with an opportunity to “unlock” a $500 cash prize depending on your proficiency.

Beyond the indulgence and entertainment, this event serves a philanthropic purpose. Proceeds will be channelled towards local and international initiatives, assisting those less privileged around the globe. Thus, not only will you experience an evening of culinary delight and lively entertainment, but also contribute towards making a tangible difference in the lives of the needy.

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